Assaults on police officers in Scotland have hit a five-year high with more than 1600 attacked in just three months according to new figures.

Police Scotland has reported a 10 per cent increase in the number of assaults on cops between April and June compared to the same period last year. 

A total of 1498 attacks on officers were recorded in the first quarter of last year but this rose to 1649 in the same months of 2019. 

The latest figures also showed a large increase in the number of violent attacks in the west command area of Scotland with a rise of 22.1 percent.

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A total of 845 assaults were recorded during the three month period last year but this rose to 1032 this year.  

Almost half of the attacks from the west took place in the Lanarkshire and Greater Glasgow police divisions. 

While the number of police assaults recorded fell for the north and east area, by 12.6 and 1.2 percent respectively, the overall figures for attacks on cops still showed a significant rise. 

Saturdays were found to be the peak day for assaults, particularly between 8pm and 1am.

The figures also showed that assaults on Scottish emergency workers continue to increase rising by 8.7 percent to 1929 this year. 

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A report detailing the latest figures will be presented at a board meeting of the Scottish Police Authority on Wednesday. Calum Steele, general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, said: “These figures simply tell us what police officers have known for some time - that is that instances and levels of violence they face is increasing and doing so exponentially.

He claimed officers were now regularly being targeted by armed individuals. “As more police officers are assaulted, the levels of the injuries they sustain are also increasing in severity," he said. “Encountering criminals with knives and other weapons is a daily occurrence and yet politicians continue to make cheap political points over officers’ safety equipment while our colleagues get maimed and injured with increasing regularity.” 

 Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said: "Our officers find themselves dealing with dangerous situations on a daily basis to protect the people and communities we serve and are trained to a high level to deal with violent and confrontational situations.

"But being assaulted is not simply part of the job.

"No assault on a police officer can ever be tolerated and Police Scotland has a legal and a moral duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our people.

"Each assault will be investigated with the same care, compassion and commitment as an assault on a member of the public and the best evidence secured to support prosecution.

“We are considering new ways, including taking learning from elsewhere in the UK, to ensure we provide the best support to our people.”